Monday, June 01, 2009
NASCAR Nationwide Series Journal: Ken Butler KB3 Weekly Update
This is the second post in Marketingshift's coverage of Ken Butler III, a rookie driver on the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Follow Marketingshift.co as we track the life of a professional driver and all of the challenges he encounters,on and off the track.
The weekend started great for Ken Butler. The rookie driver on the NASCAR Nationwide Series arrived in Wilmington, Delaware late Wednesday night and had a good nights rest before heading to Dupont Country Club where he played golf as a celebrity guest in the Drive for Autism celebrity/amateur golf tournament with Michael Waltrip and guests from Aarons his sponsor. After a nice banquet it was back to get some rest because KB3 knew the rest of the weekend was all business.
Waking up and going to the track in always one of the adrenaline pumping experiences KB3 has. He had never run the monster mile at Dover. The ritual is much the same. A good hotel breakfast consisting of the Hampton Inn’s finest and a couple bottles of fluids to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Ken set out to tackle the speedway in practice. Running some laps to throw down some rubber and break in some tires is always part of the process. Butler and the crew opted for minor adjustments that they had the Aarons Dream Machine they to go to battle with. Then the skies opened and washed all the rubber of the track and postponed the AAA sponsored truck race. Ben Burnett, Butler’s sports marketing guru was kind enough to take pictures for us all along the way.
Saturday morning was early. I always get up early because I am eager for the day. We had some minor adjustments to the car but that is normal. Butler had a good feeling about the day.
I knew I had a good car. I had just had my daughter (Piper Shay) a week earlier. I knew I was in a good situation and the team at R3 Motorsports had done a great job getting everything ready to go. Qualifying was right where I expected to be and I knew that things were going my way. Everybody felt the excitement. It was contagious. We all knew that things were shaping up nicely.
As the race started in the Heluva Good! 200 Butler was inching his way into the top 30 when John Wes Townley (the driver of the Zaxby’s #9 car). got into him coming out of turn 2. Nobody from R3 Motorsports would comment on the situation but Ben Burnett gave us one tid bit: "It was just really unfortunate for us."
Townley was already a lap down before five laps had even passed. He had already been responsible for the race’s first caution flag going into turn 1 of lap 1 at the monster mile. If at the very least Townley tied a dubious record. However, his reputation among other drivers precedes him and research shows he usually inflicts careless damage just to himself… usually in practice or qualifying. Butler was his second casualty.
But we’re a marketing blog. NASCAR is the #2 venue in all of sports marketing only behind the NFL , with heavy coverage on ABC.
If people are going to invest a minimum of $100,000 in sponsorship for travel and expenses for every race we feel it is our duty to protect marketing interests. As a casual observer to NASCAR even I know it’s a courtesy to every other driver to race a good race but not make foolish decisions to affect other cars driving like 16-year old kid when you’re already a lap down.
NASCAR is huge business and if you’re a lap down before the 10th lap, you should have the frame of mind to let everyone else run. The 28th lap is too soon to act like that. It was probably an honest mistake. But the kid deserves some bad press since he’s a professional, and at Marketing Shift, we're not afraid to call him out for it.
We will be here to check in with our favorite NASCAR driver Ken Butler III the rest of the season.
By Matt O'Hern at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)